Melania Trump went through an embolization procedure
Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump turned 72 yesterday, but first lady Melania Trump had nothing to say about it, at least on Twitter.

Returning to the public eye on June 4 after a weeks-long absence, the first lady was tweeting every weekday, more or less. But her last missive — a shout-out to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services — was on Monday, and the president's birthday passed in Twitter silence (twilence?).

It has been quite a year for digital tea-leaf readers of the president and first lady. Because the family are such prolific tweeters, the absence of a mention on holidays or a birthday can provide an up-to-date read on family dynamics.

 

The relationship has shown signs of strain amid constantly unspooling details about Trump's sexual encounter with porn star Stormy Daniels in 2006, and the six-figure hush payment the president's fixer, Michael Cohen, paid her weeks before the election.

In video and photographs of the first couple together, the first lady has seemed remote in her husband's presence, sometimes recoiling from his attempts to hold her hand. On Melania's 48th birthday in April, President Trump called in to "Fox & Friends," where he said he'd been too busy to get his wife a present.

The couple observe a clear distance on Twitter. The president mistakenly called the first lady "Melanie" in a tweet welcoming her home from her hospital stay last month. And in his tweeted Mother's Day message, President Trump didn't mention her at all. (He didn't mention his two ex-wives, the mothers of four of his five children, either.) He also skipped mentioning their anniversary.

That's in contrast to President Obama and Michelle Obama, who consistently shared effusive social-media posts on their birthdays and anniversaries, often with anecdotes about their relationship strength and history.

For her part, the first lady celebrated the first anniversary of her husband's inauguration this January with a photo of herself on the arm of a strong-jawed soldier, and the president nowhere to be seen.

But social media also provides evidence that the first lady may enjoy a good relationship with Trump's youngest daughter, Tiffany. "Happy birthday @flotus," Tiffany wrote in an Instagram story on Melania's birthday. "Love you!"

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